A Slow Fashion Manifest:
From ›make it last!‹ to ›borrow, don’t buy!‹
May we present you something from our archives, we have recently been rediscovering? Our very own Slow Fashion Manifest! Our personal wardrobe story, to begin with, was all about ›things that last‹. Realized in cooperation with our compagnon and partner in crime Bassi Lichtenberg, it is somewhat inspired by the slow fashion pioneers Lisa Corneliusson and Emma Elwin who, amongst others, turn our eyes to what is most important in building up an ethical wardrobe: Focusing on the things that last. That is to say: high quality garments and timeless designs. Our very own interpretation? Would be the things that we have loved, lived with, and lost many times over the years – and which have returned to our wardrobes in any kind of possible variations.
But we went further, of course! Discovering all the breathtakingly–beautiful and thoughtfully produced pieces of clothing we stumbled upon during the recent months looking for eco and fair fashion, whilst also seeing our wardrobes change as we were slowly replacing them with slow fashion pieces and ideas, we decided on starting a whole project during Fashion Revolution Month April. Read all about our thoughts on slow fashion wrapped up in manifesto-words below – from M (for ›make things last!‹) until B (for ›borrow, don’t buy!‹).
Anna wears: By Signe silk dress | Alina Schürfeld brogues | VINOKILO hat
Esther wears: JAN N JUNE dress | VINOKILO Jacket | Vintage boots
MAKE IT LAST!
Inspired by the swedish slow fashion pioneer Emma Elwin we from now on will focus on ›making things last‹. Let’s talk garments that are made to stay, slow fashion par excellence, the white canvas in our wardrobes (to not use the terribly boring word ›basics‹) – the perfect trench, the white tee, the jeans of ones choice…
If you really start investing in garments that are not only of high quality but also build a solid base for the rather eccentric wardrobe piece you can’t let go of – you’ve probably achieved the task. Meaning: It will get so much easier to dress in the morning. Your clothing ensemble reads style, instead of fashion. You will stay loyal to each garment as long as it lives. And every other special piece of clothing suddenly has a solid background to shine on.
Esther wears: ARMEDANGELS coat and dress | Veja sneaker
Anna wears: Muka Va shirt | Nudie Jeans | Maasnatur flats
Anna wears: Vintage top and pants by Collection No.2 | ACNE Studios flats
Anna wears: By Signe top | Maasnatur pants
Esther wears: ARMEDANGELS coat | By Veryan top | By Signe pants
LOOK FOR THE ECO PIONEERS…
When we first started our journey towards building an ethical and as-sustaining-as-possible wardrobe we had a moment of doubt. Would we compromise the style we had been defining for ourselves whilst doing without our beloved fast fashion brands we had just started questioning?
Let’s say the pioneers of eco fashion are slowly starting to realize that there is a new generation of consumers demanding aesthetically pleasing designs in the same breath as they do demand ethical production. The home advantage these pioneers have, facing a bunch of new labels taking on the call for eco- and fair production? They know their trade! We are talking textile know how, production processes and volumes, quality garments and timeless yet elegant patterns.
… AND SUPPORT THE GENERATION OF TOMORROW
But – let’s not forget to invest in future generations, which are growing up just as we are. Let’s find and support the veterans of tomorrow!
The young makers of our generation are not just a lot more up-to-date (regarding subcultures and aesthetic movements) and really understand the Zeitgeist which happens to involve a lot of questions about sustainability – they also prove a point that critically engaged consumerism could be an actual possibility in today’s society. Being critical towards the fast fashion industry without compromising ones interest in style? Possible! Though we do appreciate the approach to minimalism and timelessness we find here and there, looking for the youngsters!
EXPERIMENT WITH NEW MATERIALS!
On our journey we suddenly started gathering an incredible amount of information on (natural) fibers and textiles and how they are actually being produced. And we suddenly realized that some of our aesthetic categories started changing.
Garments we had formerly regarded as desirable for their looks, suddenly lost interest because of their feel. Other garments suddenly seemed even the more interesting for their history of production. We are talking salmon leather made from industrial waste, cork as a no-longer-so-90s-appealing alternative to leather and also the sudden joy of looking at creased pieces of clothing, telling stories of organic cotton and the sudden urge to avoid polyester… Take a closer look at yourself! Do you feel your aesthetic eye changing?
SLOW DOWN YOUR WARDROBE!
Here’s another task: Let’s collectively abandon our seasonal and occasional wardrobes!
This one is written as easily as it possibly will be difficult to accomplish. But we do believe that every single one of us has their go-to-pieces they take along from summer to winter and back again, as well as wearing them from bright daylight until late at night. Let’s hold on to these pieces instead of storing half of our wardrobes under the bed because they belong to the wrong season. We have artsy layering in mind (why not keeping the perfect trench out during winter and upgrading it with a favorite jumper?), the perfect dress that makes you feel special during working hours, but can be your best companion while going out at night.
Anna wears: Johanna Junker twin piece | Vintage flats
Esther wears: Johanna Junker dress | Veja sneaker
SUPPORT YOUR LOCALS!
This one is to ›feeling right in place‹: support your locals!
Probably every one of us has a story about a garment to tell, which we encountered somewhere abroad, appearing like the perfect fit – but when taking it back home looking actually so-much-out-of-place that we never even gave it a second chance to be worn outside the own apartment. We strongly believe in local culture. And we believe that buying locally, also in sense of aesthetics, does not only do some good for the makers trying to make a living in the town of their choice; but also will add the one-of-a-kind feeling of belonging your wardrobe. Try it: get lost in your city streets, encounter a little boutique/studio/atelier. Try on a piece of clothing. And see how it speaks out in the streets, pay attention if other people recognize.
Anna wears: Musswessels dress
NINE TO FIVE boots
Esther wears: Musswessels twin piece
Alina Schürfeld brogues
Esther wears: Vintage pullover by Collection No.2
MAKE OLD NEW AGAIN!
We admit: one of our all-time favourite passe-têmps is not just finding treasures at the racks of a hip eco and fair fashion boutique; it’s finding treasures in places no one expected them; treasures which have once been valued and long forgotten. We are speaking vintage and second hand clothing which we love to reanimate and take them along for a second life. Let’s ›make old new again‹!
It’s about finding treasures; it’s about discovering high quality pieces on a little budget; and it’s the pleasure of escaping the cycle of the constant need for new in the most enjoyable manner – finding the new in something old.
Aesthetically speaking, we love the sense of humor which comes along with garments from already passed times, with the shapes and sizes that seem somewhat out of place even when fitting your body measurements.
Anna wears: By Signe silk dress
BORROW – DON’T BUY!
We have been dwelling in clothes that last, in needing less, in looking for things already out there… so you probably already figured how this manifesto could probably come to an end? Right, let’s talk about alternatives to buying!
Do you believe us when we say: there are so many fun ways not to buy and own clothing out there nowadays? If not so, have a look at the various online rental services like the Hamburg based Kleiderei (your online clothing library); stop by at the next clothes swapping party in your neighborhood; or have a look into your best friends closet! We did all of the mentioned above. And we found not only pleasure, but new fun in styling and combining our daily outfit ensembles!